THE BLOG

Women in Business Q&A: Marie Svet, Global Chief Revenue Officer, AccuWeather

01/12/2015 18:51 GMT | Updated 01/12/2016 10:12 GMT

Marie Svet joined AccuWeather in 2010 as the Vice President of Yield Management and Ad Operations. Her value to the organization was quickly realized and she was promoted to the Senior Vice President of Ad Revenue in 2012 and subsequently to Chief Revenue Officer.

Svet has a strong media sales background that encompasses Ad Sales (TV), Affiliate Sales, and Digital Media Sales. Prior to joining AccuWeather, she was at RHI where she spearheaded their Ad Sales Pricing and Inventory efforts. In that role, she served as the key point of contact with the Leadership Advertising Sales Team determining yield, revenue maximization, and liability management.

Svet's extensive leadership experience in the advertising industry includes roles of progressively increasing responsibility as a leader of major digital and television initiatives at companies such as Nickelodeon Networks, World Wrestling Entertainment, The Feedroom.com and USA Networks.

Svet has an MBA from the Leonard N. Stern school of business and is an avid marathon runner and certified chi running coach.

How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?

My mother was quite young when I was born, so I had the privilege of watching her work her way through college and then grad school as a secretary. She ultimately became the CFO/COO of a prominent health care company for over 20 years. Since she didn't have many female colleagues or role models, she would "think out loud" with me, directly sharing her experiences and ideas when we were alone together. Her work-life struggles were punctuated with stories of budgets, downsizing, expansions, discrimination, and politics. To me, it read like a Hollywood script.

Although some might have considered me strange for playing "office," hiring and firing imaginary workers, while the other kids were out riding their bikes, I was also internalizing some key lessons. For one, happy people tend to be productive people. For another, not everyone is motivated solely by money; different things make people happy, and learning what is important to the individuals on your team is important. At AccuWeather, I am committed to creating and mentoring productive, happy teams built on respect and diversity of thought.

How has your previous employment experience aided your position at AccuWeather?

I have had a very non-linear, non-traditional path that encompassed national television media buying, account planning, affiliate sales, pricing & inventory analysis, and ad operations. I've worked at ad agencies, a dotcom start-up, cable networks, and a movie production company. The breadth and depth of my experience positions me perfectly in the role of Global Chief Revenue Officer for AccuWeather, to offer a unique and strategic perspective as we drive the company forward.

I'm also able to leverage my prior professional experiences to help provide greater opportunities to our advertisers and partners to reach their target audiences on a much more granular level. For example, we've helped our advertisers leverage geo-targeted marketing layered with weather-triggered ads to reach the right consumers at the exact moment when their brand is the most relevant.

What have the highlights and challenges been during your tenure at AccuWeather?

During my time at AccuWeather, I've helped the company further expand into the digital space and take advantage of new technologies and trends - specifically programmatic sales - in order to generate more revenue.

A major highlight for me was when Cynopsis presented me with their first Corporate Visionary Award this past April. I felt like it really validated the bleeding edge work that our programmatic and digital revenue management teams have been engaging in and the impact we've been able to make so far. One challenge has been getting the all parties to embrace programmatic sales and not to think of it as remnant. Programmatic sales are simply a more efficient means to transact branded sales.

What advice can you offer women who are looking for a career in advertising and marketing?

Like so many industries and businesses today, advertising and marketing are undergoing constant change. We need to always adjust our strategies based on new trends and technologies in order to best reach our target audiences. For anyone just starting out, I think it's really important to be nimble, explore new opportunities and never stop learning about the industry.

It is also extremely important to network. As a Board member of Women in Cable Telecommunications' New York Chapter, I find that speaking and sharing experiences with my peers is not only rewarding but also helpful. It allows an opportunity to be collaborative with bright minds that provide fresh perspectives and innovative solutions to issues I may be working through at AccuWeather.

What is the most important lesson you've learned in your career to date?

A long time ago I learned to stop listening to people who think you need to do things a certain way "because that's the way it's always been done." If I hadn't, I would never have found my own "true north." I think you can carve any career path that you want as long as you have a passionate story to match it.

How do you maintain a work/life balance?

I don't think there is such a thing as work/life balance. Some days the scale tips more towards work, and other days, the scale tips more towards life. My goal is to even the score up by the end of the week if I can. Regardless, whether I am at work or with my family, I try to be fully present and to give 100% of myself to the task at hand and to the people I'm with in that moment.

What do you think is the biggest issue for women in the workplace?

I think the biggest challenge for women in the workplace as they move up the ladder is how they handle power. Many people are still uncomfortable with powerful women and as a result, the women are scrutinized more, often maligned, and in general, held to a different, often less-forgiving standard than their male counterparts.

How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and personal life?

Ten years ago, I was at a crossroads in my own career and felt as though there were limited resources for women in the mid-level executive range. Leveraging my position as President of Women in Cable Telecommunications' New York Chapter, I founded and launched Prime Access, WICT NY's Executive Mentoring Program. I'm proud to say it was a huge success and still going strong.

I am amazed at the number of lives we have touched. I started the program because I needed a mentor, and I learned something from every person who passed through the program. Ironically, this year marks the very first year that I actually mentored someone in the program and it has been one of the most rewarding aspects of the program for me.

My mentee thinks she is learning something from me, but I can assure you that I am learning far more from her. If you haven't been a mentor to someone yet, I highly recommend that you consider it. There is always someone in need and everyone has something to offer.

Which other female leaders do you admire and why?

I admire my mother for what she taught me. I admire my fellow sisters in the Betsy Magness Leadership Institute Class '26 for rising to the top as they have. It's always rewarding to see other women rise to the top and lead others because it elevates all of us. I'm inspired by so many different female leaders. Most of all, I admire and am inspired by the single mothers/caretakers who get up and get it done each day without complaint. They are my "sheroes".